May 21, 2004

Commentary

The Gathering Storm (revisited)

By Andrés Lozano

(Part one of a three part series)

As if yanked from a Greek tragedy; Moira, the Goddess of misfortune threatens Mexico. How apt is Lord Acton’s dictum: “Those ignorant of history risk repeating it.” In its confusion, civic ignorance, reliance and idolatry Mexican voters ready themselves to elect tyrant López Robador —a pun not a typo, Robador as in thief in lieu of Obrador, his last name— in 2006. How can such a thing happen? It is easy to explain. As a fly attentive cat, a hefty part of the constituency suffers from attention deficiency syndrome. Overwhelmed with sundry information and childlike elusiveness, does not itemize real issues, is concerned with trifling and opens spaces for the tyrant in a risky pipe dream. Greece and Rome offer us varied unlearned lessons of the tyranny-demagoguery-tyranny cycle. A cunning rogue, AMLO -the same character’s acronym- easily drifts public attention away with a crude, yet effective sort of political shell game.

Presently, the Attorney General has requested Congress AMLO’s impeachment to indict him on assorted charges. If this initiative fails or if it is carried through, yet no legal action is implemented against him after impeached and is found guilty as charged, he will emerge reinforced and invincible from his ordeal. As Hitler emerged unscathed and outstanding from jail.

In analogy with the larger than life Aryan prototypes pumped up by the Nazis, in fact shadows on the wall, brainchildren of physically and mentally challenged cranks such as Goebbels and Streicher, Mexicans believe in history as represented by muralists’ cartoons. Caricatures by Orozco, Diego and Siqueiros are mean in intention as were those published by their contemporary Julius Streicher in Der Stürmer, the Nazi racial hatemongering daily. Difference dwells in the fact that cartoons in the infamous German tabloid cover the specific period between 1928 and 1945 and perpetrators were exposed as hate mongers. Meantime the hate-inspiring Mexican mural cartoons deface public buildings and textbooks, in cases for over eighty years now and their perpetrators are exalted figures. Goebbels committed suicide dodging the Nuremberg trials, where Streicher was found guilty of hate incitement, sentenced to death, sent to the gallows and hanged. Afterwards, Germany was subjected to den-azification. At variance, fumings are ritually carried away in the heathen altars dedicated to our Attila’s and predators such as Villa, Zapata and Tata Lázaro, our prototypical “desert-makers”, paraphrasing Rulfo, the great writer. Thus, López Robador’s nazi-inspired tyranny in the makings will not be spontaneous, but the outcome of social hatred assiduously fanned through generations.

Mexicans, almost to a man, fall prey to the founding myth. Which is this myth? Simply put: When the Conquest took place -the evil- the conquerors defeated the Aztecs -the virtuous- and all national woes stem from that incident. Such simplification would sound silly if it had not captured the popular imagination. Said yarn has a lot in common with Adam and Eve’s banishment from Paradise: From an idyllic state, the Mexican people fell unto one rife with hardship, threat and want. Facts, of course, dispel this hogwash, but the populace tends to doggedly cling to their fantasies with utter rashness. Or German sagas are not at Auschwitz’ root and pan Slavic legends do not materialize as Pogroms and Gulags? The famous National University of Mexico motto coined by Vasconcelos: “The Spirit will speak through my Race” is sublimated Nazism at its worst, yet fills up with pride to so many a silly among us.

López Robador, thus, evolves from a transmogrified Kukulkan -a Mayan deity- into Huichilópez, an Aztec idol of sorts. As an obvious byproduct of our civil ignorance, he is the outline of a subtropical Hitler or Stalin in the making, since he materializes, is the dregs, of assorted unsupported legends steadfastly lodged in the national subconscious mind. Consequently, AMLO projects himself with subliminal vindication potential, as perceived by the frustrated. He is the fabrication fostered from the government and demagogic political franchises, to stray attention from their incompetence, whilst justifying collective apathy. When ‘someone else’ is guilty of our own inadequacies, curds the conspiracy among rascals and the slothful and misfortune is waiting just around the corner. This is why AMLO can make egregious mistakes, can be caught red-handed, cannot justify his Ganymede perks nor the evident dangerous liaison resulting. Nothing really matters, he is the high priest with obsidian dagger in hand, and ready to tear out the hearts of those at odds with the Aztec pantomime he performs, as pantomime was the Wagnerian enacted by Hitler. As unlikely the Aztec Sun redemption as the Nazi flight of fancy. Consequently, AMLO rises splendiferous as once Hitler did, in the belief he was Wotan´s reincarnation, really Loki’s, the Germanic god of death and destruction, as AMLO considers himself the reincarnation of Huichilopochtli, really of Mictlantecuhtli, Aztec god of death and destruction. In time, cartoonists and imitators will ridicule him, but that date is distant indeed. First, the diminutive chieftain will be acclaimed, enthroned the stern despot, the avenger of imaginary slights, and effortlessly, the lazy Mexican will cope with the hard working, happily the majority, sadly not represented.

Will continue…
Andrés Lozano alozanoh@msn.com

Letters to the Editor Return to the Frontpage